Why Should I do Business With You?
In marketing, the message matters more than you think.
When meeting with clients to discuss their marketing initiatives, I often find that they don’t have a clear value proposition, benefits statement or any type of compelling offer that will get a prospect’s attention. At some point, I beg for forgiveness on the elementary nature of my upcoming question and simply ask “why should I do business with you?”
What I typically hear is a collection of mediocre or average benefits that the client believes all “add up” to a compelling reason to do business with their company.
In reality, if you don’t have some differentiated reason that your competition can’t, or won’t, claim—that on its own will get your prospect’s attention—then you are selling a commodity and destined to pay a hefty advertising tax. This tax shows up over and over again as increased advertising costs and low conversion and close rates.
In Creating Competitive Advantage, Jaynie L Smith states that “I found only two CEOs out of 1,000 who could clearly name their companies’ competitive advantages. The other 99.8 percent could offer only vague, imprecise generalities.”
You should view a differentiated value proposition that is compelling to your target audience one of the most coveted competitive advantages; an asset that is worth the time required to identify, refine and test.
Any investment you make in this area will be repaid exponentially by the reduced advertising and marketing costs you will enjoy, nevermind the increased sales you will make.
A Sharp Message Will Cut Through The Noise
Abraham Lincoln is quoted as saying “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” We as marketers can also learn that if we have an hour to make a sale, that we would be wise to spend the first forty minutes crafting the most compelling value proposition before interrupting any prospects.
Just as a razor sharp saw can slice through a trunk with fewer passes than a dull blade, sharp messages can penetrate your market place in fewer attempts than dull ones. If we assume it costs us something in time or money each time we have to reach our prospects, then we can assume that a sharp message (in the shape of a value proposition) can reduce our cost of sales, marketing and advertising.
I am using “message” in a fairly broad manner here, because this principle can be applied to all messaging from your company’s overarching positioning down to a simple offer or headline you use in an ad.
Investing the time to sharpen your message will leverage all of your efforts and multiply your returns. And, since marketing automation is all about scaling your marketing and sales, any waste you have today will also be magnified—so it’s better to fix it now.
Leverage simply means getting more results from less effort, and a compelling message that resonates with your target market is a powerful lever.
In this light, we can look at marketing automation as the volume knob on a guitar amplifier. If the guitar is in tune and the player is experienced, we will want to amp up the volume as much as possible to please as large of an audience as possible. However, if the instrument is out of tune or the player is sloppy, raising the volume will only magnify the noise and turn people away at a faster rate.
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Acknowledgments to Jack Daly for boiling this important idea down to the concise question of “Why should I do business with you?” in his book, Hyper Sales Growth. I highly recommend it to companies who want to grow rapidly grow their sales team.